Food boxes help fill need for local families

Agape House Executive Director Dave Hughes, left, and volunteer Pat Wood prepare a box of food to be given away in 2014.

For the past 17 years, it has been my honor and privilege to lead Eastern Oregon Mission and its two outreaches Agape House and Martha’s House. It is now time for me to turn over the reins and begin a new adventure.

As I reflect on the past years, I cannot help but see God’s hand in all that has been accomplished. These accomplishments are not mine but His and would not have happened if you, our supporters, had not provided prayers, vision and funding.

I want to give a brief recap of the major highlights of what God and this community have accomplished during my tenure here. At my first board meeting, I was presented with a challenge: Bring to reality the vision of the board for a new facility. After three years of planning and fundraising, Agape House moved into its current home at 500 Harper Road, and was able to expand services to those in need in our community.

Also during this time, Agape House partnered with Blue Mountain Community College to open and operate a thrift store. We expanded our Harper Road location with the purchase of two additional acres to provide space for current and future programs. Seven years ago with the encouragement of the late mayor Bob Severson, our board developed Martha’s House, a homeless family transitional program.

These are your accomplishments. I was only the catalyst. A very special thank you goes to my wife, Jodene, who is a prayer warrior, confidant and encourager.

So what is your role in the future of Eastern Oregon Mission? First and foremost, your prayers are needed to ensure the organization continues to look to God for direction. Pray specifically that God provides a new executive director. Second, your financial support is needed to allow Eastern Oregon Mission to continue to provide services to our community.

So what is up for Dave and Jodene?

I had a plan to enjoy retirement here in the Hermiston area but God had a different plan. The one major lesson I learned during my time here is to follow God’s leading. We will be moving to Arizona and beginning a new journey.

In closing I would like to personally thank each and every one who has supported Eastern Oregon Mission during my time here. So please join me on Oct. 12 from 2-5 p.m. at First Christian Church and allow me to thank you in person. Cake and punch will be provided.

Dave Hughes is retiring as director of Eastern Oregon Mission after 17 years.

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